Scottish Snippets

8 February 2014

Number 653

The Scottish Snippets Newsletter in its original format began in April 1997 and continued in an unbroken series for 591 issues. Although no longer produced in that style, there is now this regular update on the new and updated pages on the Rampant Scotland site including "Scottie's Photo Diary From Scotland".

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Lighthouse Letters

Sharma Krauskopf, who created the "Scottish Radiance" Web site also contributed a series of articles on her experiences as an American who fell in love with Scotland (while stuck in what she called a "sheep jam" on Skye) and who eventually succeed in her dream of living beside a remote Scottish lighthouse. The articles cover the time when she was frustrated in her attempts to buy a lighthouse keeper's cottage as well as the happy years after she bought one at Eshaness in Shetland. So far, four of her "Lighthouse Letters" have been added to the "Guest Writers" section of Rampant Scotland. There is an initial index and a brief biography at Lighthouse Letters and the individual articles so far are:

Over the Sea

Travel by ferry from Uig on Skye by way of Tarbert and Stornoway, hoping to be able to buy the lighthouse cottage at the Butt of Lewis. The graphic here is of Neist Point Lighthouse and is by Frank Harkness via Wikimedia. See Over the Sea

Where Eagles Fly

A bus journey from Tarbert in Harris to Stornoway in Lewis, shadowed by an eagle and observing the slower pace of life in the Western Isles... See Where Eagles Fly

A Birthday at Edinbane

A flying visit to Butt of Lewis lighthouse and a magical birthday party on Skye. The graphic is of Orbost on Skye by Richard Dorrell via Wikimedia. See A Birthday at Edinbane

A Celtic Soul Wants to Go to Scotland

A Celtic Soul is someone who loves Scotland but may not live or have ever been there. See Celtic Soul Wants to Go to Scotland

Scottish Lighthouses

Five more illustrated pages on Scottish Lighthouses:

Butt of Lewis

At the far north of Lewis in the Western Isles. The Guinness Book of Records says that it is windiest location in the United Kingdom. Graphic of the Butt of Lewis lighthouse is via Wikimedia. See Butt of Lewis

Cloch Point

The Cloch lighthouse is on the shore of the Firth of Clyde, at the point where the river turns from flowing west to a southerly direction into the estuary and then the open sea. It was thus a well-known landmark for many who left Scotland to emigrate by ship to around the world - and a welcome sight for travellers returning to Scotland. See Cloch Point

Eilean Glas (Scalpay)

Located in the Western Isles, its colour scheme of red and white bands makes it one of the more eye-catching of Scottish lighthouses. Eilean Glas was one of the first 4 lighthouses built in Scotland. The graphic here is by Simon Stewart via Wikimedia. See Eilean Glas (Scalpay)

Isle of May

The Isle of May is located to the north of the outer Firth of Forth, approximately 5 miles off the coast of mainland Scotland. It is famous for its large populations of fluffy Grey seal pups in winter and seabird cities in summer. See Isle of May

Rona Lighthouse

Rona is a small island in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. Rona's name is believed to be of Old Norse origin, from Hraun-ey meaning "rough island" and probably reflects a Viking settlement. See Rona Lighthouse

Far and Wide

Fada's Farsaing (Gaelic for "Far and Wide") is a series of articles by Liam O Caiside in English but with Gaelic words and phrases interwoven in the text. The articles describe a wide range of Gaelic and Celtic customs and culture. They are another section from the former "Scottish Radiance" site. The series begins with three articles:

Candlemas (L Fhill Brghde in Gaelic)

Traditions associated with St. Bridget's day and an even more ancient goddess, Brigantia. The graphic of St Brigid's Cross is via Wikimedia. See Candlemas (L Fhill Brghde in Gaelic)

Proverbs - "The old saying long held true shall never be belied."

A selection of books and witty examples of old sayings in both English and Gaelic. Graphic via Wikimedia See: Proverbs

Beltane and the Coming of Summer

The origins and traditions of Bealtainn, a quarterly feast that marks the beginning of summer and the "light" or fertile half of the year. The article is illustrated with pictures from the Beltane Fire Festival that is celebrated on Calton Hill in Edinburgh on the evening before 1 May. Graphic here is copyright Christophe Mercier. See: Beltane and the Coming of Summer

Castles of Scotland on YouTube

A number of BBC and ITV programmes on various subjects have been uploaded to YouTube (for educational purposes) and thus are available to be viewed around the world. I've compiled a list of such videos linking to seven of a "Castles of Scotland" series shown on UK TV which can be viewed on YouTube. Note, however, that it appears that the videos will not play on mobile phones or tablets and they cannot be saved on your PC using normal software. See Castles of Scotland on YouTube

Rum Tales of Celtic Brews

The long history of heather ale, a brew made from a plant found all over Scotland and other drinks such as elderberry wine is the latest addition to the "Whisky Connoisseur" section. See Rum Tales of Celtic Brews

Scottish History to 1400
The abstracts from Michael Lynch's history of Scotland continue with chapters on

Consolidation of the Kingdom of Fortriu and the 'smiting of Dalriada'

The achievement of the kings of Fortriu (northern Pictland) in the 8th and 9th centuries was one of the most notable in Scottish history. - see Consolidation of the Kingdom of Fortriu

Pictish Kings -The making of a kingdom

The struggle between Picts and Dalriada - and Strathclyde gets involved too. Graphic is a representation of King Kenneth I See Pictish Kings -The making of a kingdom

Next Newsletter

The next newsletter is scheduled for 22 February. In addition to more pages from "Scottish Radiance" there will be another collection of YouTube mainstream videos, this time a lengthy page with links to videos of recordings of TV shows of Scotland's landscape, coast and towns.

Yours aye


Previous editions of this Newsletter are available in an Archive. The Index to the other pages of the Rampant Scotland site is available here.

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Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

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